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Last Updated: Friday, 13 April 2007, 12:30 GMT 13:30 UK
Top Australian honour for Kidman
Nicole Kidman
Kidman took a day off filming to attend the ceremony
Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman has received her native country's highest civil honour, the Companion of the Order of Australia.

The 39-year-old was presented with the award at a ceremony at Government House, Canberra, for her contribution to the arts and her charity work.

"It's a pat on the back, which as a little girl is something I think you dream of," she said.

She added that her parents would be more proud than when she won an Oscar.

The Companion award is the equivalent of the UK's knighthood. It recognises Kidman's work promoting women's and children's health, and cancer research.

'Great attribute'

"I think the great thing about you, Ms Kidman, is what you have done to better the human condition," said Governor-General Michael Jeffery, who presented the award.

"Not only are you a tremendous actress but you are a great attribute to the nation," he added.

Kidman's parents and husband Keith Urban attended the ceremony.

The actress, who won an Academy Award for The Hours in 2003, is currently filming the romantic epic Australia with Moulin Rouge! director Baz Luhrmann.

Kidman, a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, was presented with the award alongside other recipients including medical researchers and Nobel prize winners Barry Marshall and Robin Warren.

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